Physician Priorities in 2017 and Beyond

Posted on  September 13, 2017


In October of 2016, there were 95 healthcare organizations that responded to a survey published by Healthcare IT News.  The survey was created in an effort to better understand concerns of providers in the coming year.  The answers revealed some surprising trends for 2017.

The first set of information published was related to security issues.  In general, practices are concerned with protecting all devices connected to the internet.  In fact, 58% of respondents named IoT Devices as a high priority security issue for this year.  Accidental Employee Activity came in second while mobile devices ran a close third.  Surprisingly, App Security and Network Security came in last.  This could be because participants considered this to also fall under IoT devices.

Next, the respondents were asked about the technology they would upgrade for their organization in 2017.  Security barely beat out Analytics for the top spot.  Population Health and Patient Engagement tied for third.  This piece of the report shouldn’t come as a surprise with the onset of MACRA and the need for monitoring performance in the Quality Payment Program (QPP).   Analytics will definitely be important in the future for keeping track of health outcomes in addition to financial standing.

Participants were also asked about what new technology they would likely introduce during 2017.  Analytics and Workflow Improvement tied for first place at 45% barely beating out Telehealth.  44% of respondents stated they would be introducing Telehealth technology in 2017.  This finding supports the overall growth of telehealth across the board.

When asked specifically about EHR development projects for 2017, organizations stated that improving interoperability was by far the most important thing to them.  However, improving their workflow followed close behind ranking 60% and 55% respectively.  Surprisingly, 37% indicated they would be adding Population Health tools to their EHR.  Equally, they wanted to focus on Improving Usability.

With regards to emerging technologies, perhaps the most interesting find in this study is that 63% of respondents consider Prescriptive Analytics to be important.  Artificial Intelligence ranked far below in second place at just 34%.

Now that we’re moving towards the final quarter of 2017, the survey conducted by Health IT News appears to have been right on the money.  Telehealth is booming, analytics software is on the rise and workflow improvement has been a hailing cry from EHR vendors across the board as is easier usability.  Additionally, population health has been introduced to small and large practices alike.

Without a doubt, we’ll soon begin seeing new research that indicates the trends for the quickly approaching 2018.  We predict the continued growth of Telehealth and Population Health as well as an increased need for improved Revenue Cycle Management.  Important Analytics will be here to stay as well as a continued focus on improving interoperability.  Additionally, although not mentioned in this survey, Chronic Care Management (CCM) and the impact it’s having on improving the health outcomes of our senior population will become more evident.  CCM will be sure to become increasingly important to providers and their patients.

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